An executive golf course is a course that’s much shorter than a standard golf course. Executive courses have an overall lower par because they consist of many more par 3 holes than are found on your regular golf course.
However, that’s not to say that you won’t find par 4 and 5 holes on an executive course; because you will. But the general idea of these courses is too create a fast game that can be completed within 2 to 3 hours.
You’ll generally find these courses in conjunction with a driving range or at one of the larger golf clubs in your city.
Why is it Called an Executive Golf Course?
The term ‘executive’ first originated from the business world. Businesses executives and managers where finding a full game of golf to take far too long to complete. To combat this problem, a much shorter format of the golf was introduced which allowed a “quick nine” to be completed in only 1- 2 hours.
Keep in mind that anyone can play on an executive golf course. These courses are just not popular among business men who want to squeeze in some golf time in between work. An executive course is also popular among higher handicappers, beginners and anyone wanting to play a quick game of golf.
Why Play on an Executive Golf Course?
The main reason to play executive golf is to save time. These courses have 9 or 18 holes which are a smaller in length and will take less time to complete compared to normal sized courses.
As the courses are shorter in length and comprise of many par 3 holes, playing on an executive is an ideal option for beginners, juniors and anyone else who wants to invest as little time as possible in a game of golf.
How Long Does It Take to Play an Executive Golf Course?
It will take you a maximum of 2 and a half hours to play an 18 hole par 3 executive golf course. A nine hole executive course will take about 1 hour to complete. This is much quicker compared to a standard 18 hole course which takes about 4 to 5 hours to play.
This shorter duration is why I personally love playing on executive courses. These types of courses allow me to get my “golf fix” in without investing a great deal of my time.
A group of 4 players playing 9 holes, (9 holes is standard for an average executive golf course), can be completed within 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Who plays On an Executive Golf Course?
Anyone can try their hands at executive golf. However, there are few select groups, who most benefit from this course structure:
- Golfers who are wanting to improve their short game with focused practice sessions
- Golfers with limited time who want to invest in quick game of golf
- Seniors who find that a standard course is too demanding on their body
- Juniors, who are looking for a shorter and less challenging course
- Beginners who can benefit from shorter distances and less intimidating golfers
Executive Vs Par-3 Courses
One of the most common questions I get asked is whether par 3 courses and executive ones are the same. While there are definitely similarities between them, executive course is a more broad term.
A simple way to understand the answer is by saying, “all par 3 courses are a type of executive course, but not all executive courses consist of par 3 courses”.
This is because you’ll find other types of courses like pitch putt and short courses which also fall under the executive course category.
Executive Golf Courses in Las Vegas
Las Vegas offers some of the best amateur and professional golf courses. You’ll find many courses designed to accommodate a wide range of skill levels.
Golfers who are in town for a short trip can come across multiple executive golf courses within a short drive from the Strip, Fremont Street and some of the other major attractions.
These executive golf courses in Las Vegas will offer a mix of multiple games designed around beautiful settings like streams and lakes.
Further options include these lighted courses which can be played well into the night:
Executive Golf Courses in Phoenix
Phoenix is a place of warm temperatures and provides an ideal setting for playing a round of golf. There are some well-known golfers from this area such as Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trend Jones.
When you have a tight schedule on hand and still want to squeeze in an experience of the Phoenix golf scene, then you can visit any one of the executive length courses of this city.
- Paradise Valley Park Course
- Moon Valley Country Club MoonWalk Course
- Marriott’s Mountain Shadows Golf Club
Executive Golf Courses in Florida
Being one of the more prominent golfing states in the US, golfers in Florida are spoilt for choice when it comes to executive courses.
Playing an enjoyable round of golf in Florida is always possible, thanks to its sunny and warm weather conditions nearly all year round.
Whether you’re here on a business trip or just visiting this city for 2 days, you’ll find some of the best short executive courses the USA has to offer.
Here’s a few of the most highly regarded options in Florida:
What are the Best Executive Golf Courses?
Short courses under the executive range never seem to get their due credit. They might be small but are certainly very important in the golf industry.
Executive courses rarely receive much praise or recognition in the way of awards or media coverage.
However there ease of use along with affordability, will always make them an important part of introducing new golfers to golf in an easy and fun format.
Golfers in the know appreciate a faster round of golf and are the reason why there are so many thriving executive courses all around the world.
Golf is in desperate need of younger players entering the sport to ensure its survival as a main sport.
As the age of the average golfer has never been so old as it is now, I predict these courses will only continue to grow in popularity.
The USA has some of the best executive golf courses, which you must visit at least once in your lifetime:
- Winding Hills Golf Club
- Par-3 Course at Hollybrook Golf & Tennis Club
- Oasis Country Club
- Mountain Course at Incline Village
- Portland Golf Course West
- Tooth Course at Orange County National
- Canyon Mesa Country Club
- Audubon Park Golf Course
- Audubon Park Golf Course
- Huron Shores Golf Course
- Challenge Course at Eagle Crest Resort
Villages Executive Golf Courses
In Villages, Florida, there are 600+ holes of golf available! This location provides more than 30 executive 9 hole courses along with multiple championship courses. Most of these courses consist of three par holes along with 4 and 5 par holes as well.
Listed below are some of the best executive golf courses, covering the entire Village, Florida.
- Sandhill Executive Golf Course: Golfers with a handicap issue can play this course known for staggering terrain and bunkers. Duval or Gilchrist are located in a proper location, relative to golf courses.
- Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf & Country Club: It’s a 27 hole course, designed by Nancy Lopez. This course features large oaks and beautiful waterways.
- Oakleigh Executive Golf Course: Oakleigh provides you with nice challenge to those playing greens. It comprises of water hazards, and most of the holes are under par 3.
Palm Springs Executive Golf Courses
Palm Springs is one of the main cities in Southern California and known to have pleasant weather. This area is famous for some amazing executive golf courses. It houses some of the best executive courses especially suited for juniors and beginner players.
- Escena Golf Club: Situated in 1100 Clubhouse View Dr, this executive course has 18-hole and rated as the number 6 public course in all over California by PGATOUR. It has great views with wide fairways and acclaimed cuisine. This platform is open to the public for golf.
- Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort: It is a Palm Spring favorite and known for its 18-hole course. This golf course is well known for its tough greens, which are sloped strictly from back right up to the front.
- O’Donnell Golf Club: It is the oldest golf course in Coachella Valley and while it’s greatly challenging it does offer you a relaxed playing atmosphere.
Myrtle Beach Executive Golf Courses
The executive golf courses in Myrtle Beach are designed for speedy play than any of the traditional courses you are used to. It’s made up mostly of 3 par holes but there is a couple of par 4 and par 5 available as well. In place of 70-72, these golf courses will vary from 54 to 65 as 18-hole par.
- Harbour View Golf Complex: It has multiple varieties for the entire family with 18-hole par 3 courses. It is a well-maintained fairway with manicured gardens.
- Midway Golf Course: This course is located at the south end of Myrtle Beach and consists of 27 holes. Midway offers a wide range of surfaces including uphill, side hill, bunkers and scenery so beautiful it can be compared to courses played on major tournaments! I highly recommend visiting Midway at some point during your South Carolina journey.
- TupeloBay Golf Center: This center has 18-hole executive courses with sand, water and enough distance to challenge even the most experienced golfers.
Fort Myers Executive Golf Courses
Fort Myers has a perfect location by the sea and is a commercial center of Florida, USA. It has some of the best executive golf courses you’re ever likely to play. Most of these golf centers have short par 3 courses along with par 4 and par 5 holes.
Some of the best courses for you to try at Fort Myers are:
- Hunters Run Executive Golf Course
- Whiskey Creek Country Club
- Seven Lakes Golf Course
- Golfview Golf & Racquet Club
- Eastwood Golf Course
St. Mark Executive Golf Course
The St. Mark executive golf course is available at par 58 designed over 2700 yards. This executive course is open as early as 7am and stays open until the sun goes down.
- The course has 18 holes which can be completed in less than 3 hours. A daily fee will allow you to play the 9 hole course consisting of 58 par.
- There are certain clubs available for golfers of any age and skill level. Clubs are even separated for males and females. A cafe is available offering a casual selection of cuisines and crafted beers.
Margate Executive Golf Course
Margate executive golf course is an executive style golf course with 9 holes, featuring three par 4’s and six par 3’s. An excellent course for the golfers at their beginning stages, and is also challenging enough place for an intermediate player to perfect their short game.
- This course mainly starts out with two par 4’s playing just over 250 yards from white tees.
- There are finishing 4 holes available, which are rather challenging with par 3 holes measuring between 100 and 150 yards.
- There are electric golf carts available too for better movement from one location to another. You’ll find many guests choosing to walk with a pull cart instead.
Rockland Executive Golf Course
Rockland executive golf course is situated around 25 miles north of NYC and features 18-hole championship golf courses with 18-hole par 3 executive courses as well. The Championship course will play around 6864 yards from the blue trees and around 5663 yards from red ones.
- The greens of this course have subtle breaks and sloped fairways which are quite narrower than the usual fairways you’ll come across.
- Then you have the executive golf course with a 3 par course and 1 set of tees. Here you’ll find some holes that are extremely short and others reaching a length of 200 yards. This variety keeps the course fresh and interesting throughout.
- The par 3 courses are proven to be quite valuable for beginners as well as for those looking for some fun.
Lomas Santa Fe Executive Golf Course
Just 20 minutes from downtown San Diego, Lomas Santa Fe executive golf course is one mile from the beach and houses the best executive golf course of all time.
This course is of 2,431-yard and designed in the year 1973 by William Bell. Lomas Santa Fe boasts country club greens and beautiful conditions. Lomas Santa Fe features some panoramic oceanic views with a cool breeze, which helped this place, earn the name of a hidden jewel.
The truth is that I’ve had some of my most favorite sessions of golf on executive courses. Much like tournament Cricket can be too long for some people; nothing is more exciting than a quick 90min round of golf with friends in a short executive course!
If you live in the US or UK you’ll find the best short par 3 courses to play on; many I have already shared in this article.
While your standard golf course allows you to your time and provides a more all round challenge, I urge you to try an executive course at least once in your life.
To measure and improve your golf distances, read my full guide here